> Celebrating 10 years with a new/old jar January 18 2021
As of January, we had weathered the pandemic storm of 2020, but couldn’t say the same for our supply chain. The metal lids we use were out of stock everywhere, unless we could wait ’til February. Glass bottles? Well, get in line.
Basically, packaging was our toilet paper, except there wasn’t any to hoard.
That’s when The Mistake Jars came to mind. You see, we made a mistake early in our small business journey. We ordered a pallet of our “tall” jars, which we have screen printed, but we had miscalculated the weight of the honey. Honey is measured by weight, and the jars said they contained 12 ounces and not 10.
That’s right. We have had a pallet of paid-for jars sitting in our barn for years because we made a mistake but didn’t want to misrepresent the product. We kind of forgot about these jars … until the end of December.
Was there a way we could fill the gap in our supply chain, buy some time, by using these jars? Was there a way to use the jars without misrepresenting the contents? Put some honeycomb in the jar to bump up the weight? Could we scrape the 12 off and replace it with a 10?
Well, running a small business is all about learning to be creative with resources, flexible with problem solving and willing to accept mistakes.
That’s when it hit us: we have an anniversary coming up! It’s been 10 years since we officially signed up for this wild ride, so why not turn The Mistake Jars into a celebration of mistakes and creativity? The black-painted jars were our original packaging, and we even won an award for the design, so it could be a fun throwback!
Yep. We’re using The Mistake Jars to mark 10 years of ups and downs. We’re adorning them with a bright special label that both covers the 12 ounces and celebrates our journey.
We are planning a few changes this year, but we want to start 2021 with an acknowledgement of how far we’ve come. We want to celebrate! We want to embrace the flexibility that got us this far! We finally know how to pivot!
Also, we really need to use those jars.
> Come see us! April 13 2015
We know it's finally spring when we start planning our weekends around local festivals and events. We're still working out the details on a few shows, but here's a quick list of where you can meet us, sample our honey and maybe take a peek at our observation hive this spring and summer.
- Green Door Gourmet Spring Festival, 11 to 6 on Sunday, April 26 at 7011 River Road Pike, Nashville, TN 37209.
- Sevier Park Festival, 10 to 6 on Saturday, May 2 in Sevier Park and along 12th South Avenue, Nashville.
- Produce Place Strawberry Festival, Saturday, May 9, 4000 Murphy Road, Nashville, TN 37209.
- International Biscuit Festival, 9 to 4 on Saturday, May 16 in Knoxville, TN (Biscuit Bazaar area).
- Tomato Arts Festival, 9 to 6 on Saturday, August 8 in East Nashville's Five Points area.
Follow us on Twitter @trubeehoney to get more details on what we're bringing to these shows and any specials we might have.
> It's not about corners. We don't cut strings. August 01 2014
In some ways, the hang tags for our new Barrel-Aged Honey were a turning point.
Now, these aren't any old piece of paper with information, mind you. They are the Cadillac of hangtags, complete with scoring, a hole punched in the corner and an elastic string that goes through the hole and — get this! — the string is tied in a little knot.
These hang tags cost an extravagant 24 cents each.
If you have a small business and are interested in such details, it's interesting to know we could have gotten the tags for half that.
But, well, there were little preference boxes on the order sheet, with questions like "Would you like these scored?" Our tags fold in half, like a little book, but we thought, "Oh no, we can do that ourselves."
Then the question, "Would you like holes punched in the corners?" Well, we have a hole puncher, don't we?
Then they asked about the strings.
"Would you like us to cut and attach the elastic strings for your hang tags? If so, how long do you want them?"
Wait a minute. Did they say "cut and attach," meaning that the hang tags would arrive in turn-key condition, ready to put on the bottles?
Did they say, "Friend, you won't have to sit up late one night, measuring strings, feeding them through holes and tying knots in them"?!
You see, we've grown a lot lately. While there was a time when we did everything ourselves, some of the best advice we've gotten is to learn to let go.
In fact, it's easy to micro-manage your small business, but it's not always best. It's important, we've been told, to find your strengths and use them. Equally important is to identify the activities someone else can do.
And let them.
> Not easy being Queen February 13 2014
My “Wizard Of Oz” theory came to mind yesterday.
We often joke that being small business owners is like dashing around in front of and behind a curtain, doing all kinds of jobs, wearing all kinds of hats.
The “wizard” of the famous movie was a ticket taker, lever puller, wizard and even, if you will, a life coach.
Between Jeff and me, our responsibilities range from keeping bees, hammering together hive equipment, harvesting honey, bottling honey, graphic design, photography, branding, accounting — and sometimes even sales!
So, imagine my delight to get a letter yesterday addressed to the “Complaint Department.”
“Well, that’s a new one,” I thought, then opened the letter, wondering what the head of the newly formed Complaint Department should wear to work each day.
It seems that a customer in Washington received one of our honey sampler crates for Christmas, but one of the jars leaked. She kindly asked for a replacement, followed with best wishes and blessings from God.
We sent her a replacement the next day, along with two beeswax lip balms (since people in Washington probably need them more than anybody) and a handwritten note.
I’m hoping that’ll be the end of the Complaint Department, but with growth come other challenges and more hats to wear.
For example, I got a call the other day from a potential buyer who condescendingly asked, “Are you in a position to authorize samples being sent to us?”
I wanted to say, “Not only am I in a position to, as in standing over boxes and tape, but I am The Queen Bee and can authorize anything I want.”
Instead, with a wink at my dog, I said, “I think we can take care of that for you.”